Here is a list, based on university ranking website QS' ratings, of the top four public colleges in the Philippines, based on metrics such as academic reputation and research output.
1. The University of the Philippines
No surprise here. UP has often been on top of all university rankings in the Philippines for the past years and attracts the best students and professors from all over the country. It has multiple Centers of Excellence, houses some critical Philippine facilities like the PGH, and consistently performs well in many board exams. The only caveat here is you have to pass the uber-competitive UPCAT that makes UP the most selective university in the Philippines by far, with an acceptance rate of 16% for all campuses, and an astonishingly low 4.7% for its Diliman campus.
3. Central Mindanao University
Here we have one of two Mindanao-based universities that join the ranks of the nation's best public colleges. CMU is a comparatively old university, having been founded during the American colonial period in Bukidnon, where it remains to this day. CMU is considered by CHED to be a Center of Excellence in Veterinary Medicine, Agriculture and Forestry.
3. The University of Southeastern Philippines
This is, without a doubt, a new name to some, but USeP has broken into the Philippine higher education scene and looks like it will remain in the conversation for some time. It's a young college, younger than some of our readers perhaps, having been founded in 1978 and aged 36. Its main campus is found in Davao, and its president Perfecto Alibin, is an alumnus of both UP and USeP.
4. Polytechnic University of the Philippines
Rounding off our list is the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, or PUP, famous for its 12 pesos per unit fees, the same fee it has been charging since the pre-revolution years. It is the largest state university in the Philippines, with over 70,000 undergraduates in its campuses, and employs 1483 faculty members, giving it a faculty to student ratio of roughly 1:47. It is considered by the Commission on Higher Education to be a Center of Development in the field of Information Technology.
Honorable Mention: MSU. They've been out of the list for some time, but they remain a good institution that students should consider.